Charles Mason: Denali through Collodion
On view at the Anchorage Museum April 30 – Sept. 26, 2021
May 26, 2021
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – April 26, 2021 – When an adventurous photographer uses an archaic photographic process and a darkroom on wheels to capture an unmistakable mountain, what results is a never-before-seen look at North American’s highest mountain.
Denali has long captivated photographers, including explorer Bradford Washburn (1911-2007), who pioneered aerial photography while surveying the mountain in the 1930s, and renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984), who snapped one of the most iconic images of the mountain in 1948.
Contemporary photographer Charles Mason captures present-day Denali National Park through images he made with a 19th-century photographic technique called the collodion process. Using his Westfalia van as a traveling darkroom, Mason prepares and develops images in the field on glass plates (also known as wet plate photography). He values the technique for its unpredictability – how anomalies in exposure and development often create unexpected dramatic and compelling visual images. The large-scale images he produced with this method are presented in the exhibition Charles Mason: Denali through Collodion, on view April 30 through Sept. 26,2021.
This exhibition is presented as part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series with support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.